I Am the American Cool


The science fiction influences and adventures of Janelle Monáe

Singer, songwriter, filmmaker, film star, and possibly a savior from the future sent back to give the freaks and outcasts of today a fighting chance, few artists mean as much to me as Janelle Monáe. Over on the Cultural Gutter, I got to write a multi-part exploration of Monáe’s music and career, as well as the science fiction influences on her work, the most notable being Fritz Lang’s silent epic Metropolis. Filtered through the mind of Janelle Monae, it becomes the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android in a dystopian future leading a revolt against oppressive, uncool rulers. Cindi’s adventures spanned multiple albums before she stepped out of the limelight and let Janelle lead the way on Dirty Computer, which was released complete with an accompanying movie

Links below point to the posts on The Cultural Gutter.

“We don’t need another ruler, we don’t need another fool. I am not America’s nightmare. I am the American cool.

Just let me live my life

— “Crazy Classic Life”

I Am the American Cool, Suite 1: The Mechanics of Myth
Janelle’s early days and the influence of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on her music
I Am the American Cool, Suite 2: This is a Cold War
Janelle and her alter ego Cindi Mayweather fight for the future
I Am the American Cool, Suite 3: I Am Not America’s Nightmare
Janelle appears in a Phillip K. Dick adaptation and releases Dirty Computer